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James Balcer

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  • Chicago invented improv. Did Mother's invent the singles bar?

    Chicago invented improv. Did Mother's invent the singles bar?
    You can make an excellent case that improvisation, at least in the modern entertainment sense of the word, was invented on the campus of the University of Chicago on July 5, 1955, when a group called the Compass Players performed its first show. But could you make a similar case that the singles bar also was invented in Chicago, when Mother's opened its doors in 1968?
  • City misfires in passing new gun-range law

     
    In a court ruling handed down Wednesday, Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals accused the Chicago City Council of passing a gun ordinance last year that was "too cute by half" and amounted to...

    Bridgeport helipad gets preliminary OK despite complaints

    Bridgeport helipad gets preliminary OK despite complaints
    A fleet of choppers giving aerial tours of the city could launch from a Bridgeport heliport along the Chicago River after a company got the preliminary OK Thursday despite complaints from nearby residents about noise and potential danger. Chicago...

    Aldermen OK new Bridgeport helipad

    Aldermen OK new Bridgeport helipad
    The City Council Zoning Committee recommended approval of a new heliport along the Chicago River in the Bridgeport neighborhood despite concerns from nearby residents about noise and potential danger.   Chicago Helicopter Express wants to build a...

    Mayor moves to limit medical marijuana dispensaries

    Mayor moves to limit medical marijuana dispensaries
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Edward Burke introduced a plan Tuesday to limit where medical marijuana dispensaries and growing operations can set up shop in the city after the drug becomes legal Jan. 1. The proposal would require special use permits...